Thursday, February 4, 2010

Someone's defending Taylor Swift?

Thank goodness I wasn't the only one who called out Taylor Swifty McSwifterson for her tragic GRAMMY night performance.

Blog after blog after blog - they have all gone after her for the out of tune train wreck that was her duet with Stevie Nicks. It was so bad that Ms. Stevie herself was trying to hold on to her composure during the duet - occasionally looking at McSwifterson with a concerned look. Ever the professional though, Ms. Stevie just kept on a-goin'.

In a poll on the Washington Post's website, people were asked: "What do you think of Taylor Swift's performance at the Grammys?" Here were the latest numbers - and just for the record, Yours Truly did NOT vote:

Well, wouldn't you know it - McSwifterson's record label has come out swinging. In the press this morning, and by 'the press' I mean Huffington Post, NY Times and just to name a few, the head of her record label is defending her with a vengeance.

From Huffington Post:
"She is the voice of this generation. She speaks directly to (her fans), and they speak directly back to her," said Big Machine Records CEO Scott Borchetta in a phone interview. "This is not American Idol. This is not a competition of getting up and seeing who can sing the highest note. This is about a true artist and writer and communicator. It's not about that technically perfect performance."

Borchetta first responded to the backlash in an interview The Tennessean. Asked by The Associated Press why he felt the need to defend Swift, he said because the criticism was "just over the top."

"It's that classic thing that critics do of building something up and then wanting to tear it down," he said.

Uhm ... I'm sorry - she won so many GRAMMYs that she couldn't even hold onto them all (see photo).

Just for the record - A GRAMMY is, as I understand it, the music industry's highest honor. So, guess what - if you win not one, not two, not three, but FOUR GRAMMYs, you better damn well know that the critics are going to say something about your performance. Especially when you're singing like a junior high GLEE Club flunky.

Of course an explanation is given for the "performance" - this time from the NY Times:
Mr. Borchetta added: “The facts say she is the undisputed best communicator that we’ve got. When she says something, when she sings something, when she feels something, it affects more people than anybody else.”

Defending Ms. Swift’s performance at the Grammys, Mr. Borchetta said, “Maybe she’s not the best technical singer, but she’s probably the best emotional singer because everybody else who gets up there and is technically perfect, people don’t seem to want more of it.” He added, “If you pick any of those artists that performed” at on the Grammys broadcast, “I’m sure you can go online and find something where you go, ‘ew.’ Maybe in that moment we didn’t have the best night. But in the same breath, maybe we did. And nobody is arguing with the awards.”

Mr. Borchetta told The Associated Press that Ms. Swift had a technical problem during her duet with Ms. Nicks and was unable to hear the complete mix of the song as she performed it.
"And nobody is arguing with the awards." Really? Because I sure am. She certainly didn't convince me that she was worthy of what she had been given.

Unable to hear the complete mix? Seriously - come on! She was standing right next to everyone who was playing. She was standing right next to Stevie Nicks.

Clearly, if she can't adjust to a situation whereby she doesn't have someone playing her notes for her in her ear, then she had no business being where she was. It was a live performance and anything can happen - you've gotta deal with it.

This just goes to show me that yet again, the music industry has taken a little girl who is clearly not ready for prime time and, with Kanye's ridiculous PR efforts, thrust her into the spotlight when she is clearly unable to perform ... under pressure, of course [wink, wink].

Sorry Swifty - if you're gonna sing with the big kids, you better learn how to work it ... and fast.


Huffington Post, NY Times, and for some particularly harsh Tweets - see the Washington Post.

[Photo - The pop star Taylor Swift found that it was not easy to hang on to her haul of four awards, including album of the year, at the Grammys on Sunday night at the Staples Center in Los Angeles. By Matt Sayles/Associated Press, Andrew Gombert/European Pressphoto Agency, Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images]

1 comment:

musicbizkid said...

To be fair, and I'm not saying this would have fixed anything, but if you can't hear the monitor mix correctly on a stage that big, you're going to have a heck of a time singing well. I don't care who you are.

I'm just saying: she's a kid who tours all over the place with her sound guy doing her mix, and now she's singing on the Grammys next to a living legend... Ms. Nicks has been doing this for what, 40 years? And she's probably sung through some crappy mixes in her time... but Swift never did the bad-mix club circuit. She was an overnight huge venue act, with her own sound guy.

So ultimately, I don't disagree that the performance was abysmal—she did nothing to boost her reputation among musicians—I'm just saying that if the mix was in fact the issue, and it's at least plausible that it was, then we should probably call off the more vicious of the dogs and move on to someone more deserving of our ire.

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